Previous Tri-State Winners

2016 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – $30,000
Heart Optic – University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond
Team Members: Yusuf Shurbaji, Claye Hammock
Faculty Advisors: Maurice Haff
Heart Optic LLC produces the Heart Bar™, a medical device that enables continuous CPR during image-guided procedures and ends caregiver exposure to X-ray radiation.

Second Place – $20,000
Natural State Bedding – John Brown University
Team Members: Jacob Hoskins, Calvin Huff, Walker Martin, Jeremiah Moore
Faculty Advisors: Eva Fast, Elana Carson
Natural State Bedding’s EcoAvia is a unique blend of organic materials that has the potential to increase flock health and quality; lower energy, ventilation, and propane costs; and increase production by allowing farms to raise at least one more flock per growing season.

Graduate Division

First Place – $30,000
VivImmune – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Team Members: Drew McKinnon, Corey Coston, Sean Smith
Faculty Advisor: Carol Reeves, Cynthia Sides
VivImmune’s cancer treatment platform combines immunotherapy with drug delivery. Immunotherapies are a new class of cancer therapies that work by teaching a patient’s own body to fight cancer. VivImmune’s lead molecule, VI-003, is initially being targeted for use against bladder cancer.

Second Place – $20,000
Actio Systems – University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Team Members: M.J. Orellano, Matthew Gow, Amy Hardwick, Brett Thoms
Faculty Advisors: Carol Reeves, Cynthia Sides
Actio Systems’ HIPAA-compliant web/app-based platform helps appointment-based businesses address lost revenue and diminished customer service caused by cancelled and no-show

Elevator Pitch

Undergraduate Division – Project Pediatrics; University of Oklahoma, Norman – $2,000 
Graduate Division –  VivImmune; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville – $2,000 

2015 Tri-State Winners

Click here to download the 2015 Tri-State Awards Dinner Program.

Kordate Solutions, representing the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, won the graduate division of the eighth annual Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Collegiate Business Plan Competition, held May 28, 2015, at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Led by Kenny Bierman and Phillip Turner, with Dr. Carol Reeves as faculty advisor, Kordate Solutions focuses on developing a therapeutic Alzheimer’s drug using the peptoid JPT1 to treat Alzheimer’s disease from early on-set to severe dementia.

Joshua Baker, representing Agricultural Innovations from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, beat out five other teams to win the graduate division of the Tri-State Elevator Pitch competition. He took the stage at Tri-State awards dinner to tell the audience – in 90 seconds – how his team’s business model offers a more efficient approach to farm irrigation with WellsVision, a sensor-driven automated irrigation system.

Other 2015 Tri-State Winners were:

Undergraduate Division

First Place – 3Denim
Sierra Nevada College – Incline Village, Nevada
Team Members: Kelly Benson, Evan Cook, Brendan Wheelwright
Faculty Advisors: Rick Parsons

Second Place – Raw
University of Oklahoma – Norman
Team Members: Ali Davis, Lauren Abston, Quincy Tresemer, Cici Zhou, Caitlin Zuerker
Faculty Advisor: Madison Jackson

Graduate Division

Second Place – ParaNano                                                                                                           University of Central Oklahoma – Edmond
Team Members: Chelsea Larsen, Jordan Powers, Hitesh Munishamappa Prakash, Shreyas Shivaprakash, Paul Snow
Faculty Advisors: Robert Epstein, Maurice Haff

Oral presentations were held May 28 at the Mirage Hotel with winners announced that night at the awards dinner. First-place winners took home a $30,000 cash prize, a team trophy and individual plaques. The second-place winners received a $20,000 prize, a trophy and individual plaques. The teams’ faculty advisors each earned a $3,500 cash prize.

Another $2,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the both of the winners of the Elevator Pitch competition. Ali Davis, representing the team Raw from the University of Oklahoma, won the undergraduate division.

“This year’s teams presented sophisticated and forward-thinking business plans that have the potential to become very successful companies,” said Rush Deacon, acting chief executive officer for Arkansas Capital. “It’s exactly the type of innovation we were looking for when we started this competition. This competition is an example of broad efforts Arkansas Capital has spearheaded to support entrepreneurship in Arkansas, and we are very proud of our student competitors.”

Also representing Arkansas at Tri-State were undergraduate division competitors TIRE from Harding University in Searcy; and Charlie’s Choices from John Brown University in Siloam Springs.

2014 Tri-State Winners

During the 2014 Tri-State, AEAF and the Arkansas Capital Corporation captured interviews from the winning team members and members of the other eight competitors.

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Owlpal Healthcare
The University of Tulsa

Second Place – BioBotic Solutions
University of Arkansas and Hendrix College

Graduate Division

First Place – Dragonfly Energy
University of Nevada, Reno

Second Place – Driven Analytics
University of Oklahoma, Norman

Elevator Pitch

Graduate Division – Denis Phares, Dragonfly Energy, University of Nevada, Reno
Undergraduate Division – MacKenzie Ward, Owlpal Healthcare, The University of Tulsa

2013 Tri-State Winners

As competitors gather in Las Vegas for Tri-State, AEAF captured interviews with them about their Governor’s Cup and Tri-State experiences.


Undergraduate Division

First Place – Field Focus
University of Oklahoma; Norman

Second Place – Pure Ski Experience
Sierra Nevada College; Incline Village

Graduate Division

First Place – R2R Technologies
Oklahoma State University; Stilwell

Second Place – HomeDx
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

Elevator Pitch

Graduate Division – HomeDx, University of Arkansas
Undergraduate Division – Field Focus, University of Oklahoma

2012 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Hydrovate
John Brown University; Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Second Place – Simpler Solutions
John Brown University

Graduate Division

First Place – Geyser Flow Control
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Second Place – MASH Tool USA
University of Nevada

2011 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Craftistas
John Brown University; 
Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Second Place – Agricultural Food Systems
John Brown University

Graduate Division

First Place – CerebroGen Pharmaceuticals,
University of Oklahoma; 

Second Place – cycleWood Solutions, LLC
University of Arkansas; 

2010 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Arkansas Auto-Fluff
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

Second Place – UniPHI
University of Oklahoma; Norman

Graduate Division

First Place – InnerVision, LLC
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

Second Place – BiologicsMD
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

2009 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Progressive Solutions
John Brown University; Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Second Place – Renephron Pharmaceuticals
University of Oklahoma; Norman

Graduate Division

First Place – Tears for Life
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

Second Place – Hexakit
Oklahoma City University

Elevator Pitch – Undergraduate

Undergraduate Division  Progressive Solutions, John Brown University

Graduate Division – Tears for Life; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

2008 Tri-State Winners

Undergraduate Division

First Place – Nantiox
University of Oklahoma, Norman

Second Place – Waste-Alternative Transformation Technologies
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Graduate Division

First Place – MerchantEyes, LLC
University of Arkansas; Fayetteville

Second Place – Perpetual Pharmaceuticals
Oklahoma University; Oklahoma City

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